Microsoft announces Windows 7 SKUs (updated)

Just when you thought nothing could go wrong with Windows 7, Microsoft shoots at it's own feet by preparing to launch 6 different versions of their next major release. It's officially confirmed that it's one more than the following screenshot leaked out last week :)



  • Windows 7 Starter (limited to three apps concurrently)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging markets)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (adds Aero, Touch, Media Center)
  • Windows 7 Professional (Remote Desktop host, Mobility Center, Presentation mode)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (volume license only, boot from virtual drive, BitLocker)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (limited availability, includes everything)

As an end-user, I am bemused at the fact that how does M$ expect us to pick the right one. It's going to be more complex for Business users and enterprises. I just wish they rethink on the SKUs before it's too late.

My take
  • Starter (Free non-commercial edition for students and developing nations)
  • Home (Aero, media center etc.)
  • Business ( Remote Desktop host, VM etc.)
Now, how hard can this be?

Update: ZDNet's Ed Bott reports that Windows 7 has trimmed down to only 3 different versions for everyone in developed countries: Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate/Enterprise. Windows 7 Home Basic and Starter editions are actually available in emerging markets, but they "will not legally be available for sale in the U.S., Western Europe, Japan, and other developed countries."

[image courtesy of Engadget]